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Introducing Alioth: SourceForge for Debian

Hi everyone,

This message announces the birth of a new service:

  Alioth is a Sourceforge installation dedicated to Debian.  Before
going into details, I'd like to thank Roland Mas and Christian Bayle
who packaged Sourceforge (and it's not something easy!).  Special
kudos to Roland Mas and Wichert Akkerman who worked together to set
it up and to make some modifications for Debian (so that each Debian
developer has his usual account mostly ready to use, for example).

Project approval policy

Alioth offers the same range of services than Sourceforge but only
to projects which met certain criteria.  Here are the guidelines
we're going to follow when approving project submissions:

We'll approve all those projects:
- Free software or free documentation (as defined by the Debian Free
  Software Guidelines) authored by Debian developers, or free
  software/documentation where a Debian developer is heavily
  involved (part of the core team for example). The project request
  should ideally be done by a Debian developer.
- Free documentation concerning Debian or any of its derivatives.
We may also approve other projects on a case by case basis, for
- Other projects (non-software, non-documentation) whose goal is to
  promote Debian.
- Other projects (non-software, non-documentation) whose goal is to
  promote free software in general, if those initiatives are backed
  by Debian or by a group a Debian developers.
- Any other project where you can convince the Alioth's
  administrators that it will help Debian achieve World Domination.

What is it good for ?

Alioth has big advantages:
- creating a project is easy and it offers you full control over
  many services
- it is open to non-Debian developers and you can easily grant
  rights (for example CVS write access) to external contributors

Thus Alioth is particularly suited for:
- Debian specific software that could be used by third parties
  (who'd be able to easily contribute). I would give the "Debian
  menu system" as an example.
- Documentation where many external contributors (authors,
  translators, reviewers) are typically involved.
- Subprojects like DebianEdu where many contributors are not (yet)
  Debian developers, and where we want to federate/integrate
  projects which started without any links to Debian.

But Alioth can still be used for projects/tasks of limited scope:
for example comaintenance of packages can be done on Alioth (by
using the CVS repository).

How to use my Debian Developer account ?

Your account already exists. You just have to change your password
by following the instructions on this page:
https://alioth.debian.org/account/lostpw.php (the URL will be mailed
to your @debian.org email account). Very recent new developers may
not have their account created at exactly the same time on Alioth as
on other Debian servers, but the delay is worked on.

How to use Alioth if I'm not an official developer ?

Just click on the "New user via SSL" link and create your account from
there.  Your account name will include a "-guest" suffix, so that we
can avoid namespace conflicts with "real" Debian developers. Apart
from that limitation, your account is not crippled.


We hope that this service will show that the Debian community is a
very active part of the free software community.  Hopefully it will
also help us by letting more people contribute to Debian without
going through the complete new maintainer system.  It should also
help collaborative package maintenance, thus increasing the general
quality of Debian.

Why "Alioth"?

Well, we had to pick a name.  Lots of names were suggested, most of
which were references to movies, books, cartoons or whatever.  These
references were not necessarily understood by people from all over the
world (not everywhere can you watch the Simpsons or Goldorak on TV),
and the names had not much significance apart from these references.
The Alioth name was primarily chosen as a reference too, but this one
is less bound to geographical origin of the users: it's the capital
system for the Alliance of Independent Systems in the Frontier First
Encounters game.  I'm not saying everyone here played this game, but
it's more likely that you have at least heard of it, whereas you
probably have no clue who Actarus is unless you're French, male, and
23 to 30 years old.  Oh, and as a bonus, Alioth is a real star, in the
constellation of Ursa Major (as any Google search will tell you).

We hope you'll enjoy this new service !

The Alioth administrators (Wichert Akkerman, Roland Mas, myself)

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